The Usalama Water Project v2.0

First, I’d like to start by saying thank you to everyone who contributed to the design and construction of the wonderful library, classrooms and kitchen for the Usalama Primary School Expansion project.

Our chapter has been working with the community of Usalama for about 5 years. We have completed our scope of work at the Usalama Primary School and have much success to point to. One of concerns throughout our time in Usalama was the water system. Our partner and Donor, Mwikali’s Gift, hired a local NGO to build the water system. Although the organization fulfilled their contract, currently only 1 of the 5 kiosks yields water.

This has left the community, our donor, and our team at EWB extremely disappointed. It is heart breaking to see the leaders of the community, whom we respect immensely, attempt to address these problems only to be ignored. Fixing this system is the only way we can close out our project responsibly.

Throughout our time in Usalama, we recorded water data, and other issues surrounding the system. We have also maintained an amicable relationship with the district water office. Last year, we learned that they are building a chlorinated water pipeline that passes alongside Usalama to Mtito Ande, about 20km away. They have said that if the community of Usalama wants to build off the new pipe line they can do so for an increased flow of treated water to repair the existing system.

I had the fortunate experience of visiting the community a few months ago to meet the key players and am excited to work with a great community. I have been involved with Engineers without Borders for four years on a multitude of projects and will be taking over as Project lead for the Usalama Water Project, though I have some very large shoes to fill.

Special thanks to Charles Newman the former Project Lead for Usalama that utilized his architecture experience to create a unique building that has been replicated in the community, for building great relations not only with the NGO Mwikali’s Gift, but with the community of Usalama, and I wish him the best of luck with his new endeavors as a Project Manager for IRC in the DR Congo.

This new project has been accepted by EWB-USA and is underway. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to get involved on the project at usalama@ewbny.org.

Monica Louie, Usalama Project Lead

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